Ampati, December 05: Meghalaya Sports and Youth Affairs Minister on December 04 launched and inaugurated the Mission Football Grassroots Centre at Babelapara, Purakhasia in South West Garo Hills. The minister inaugurated the grassroots centre in the presence of local MLA and Government Chief Whip Winnerson D Sangma, Village Khadi Board Vice Chairman Richard Marak and Assistant Director of Sports and Youth Affairs Jasper P Marak.
After the inauguration, more than 100 grassroots football players selected from the Babelapara Grassroot Football Centre demonstrated their skills in a synchronised drill. An exhibition football match between Tura XI and Purakhasia XI was also organised after the inauguration during which the former beat the latter by 1-0.
Addressing the gathering, Zenith Sangma said that Mission Football was an ambitious initiative of the government to turn the state into a Football Powerhouse by using world standard scientific up to date technologies. “Under the mission, talented players will be identified at the grassroots level and then trained and groomed by dedicated coaches deployed throughout the state under mission football” he said. Referring to an age old adage “catch them young”, the Minister said that it was imperative to identify and tap talented youth while they were young and develop them into exceptional players capable of competing at national and international levels. “The mission will also act a catalyst to enable exceptional players to pursue football as a career option and earn a living” he added.
Sangma also said that the Chief Minister’s Career Guidance & Counselling scheme (CMCGCS) was conducting coaching classes for MCS and IAS aspirants. “Coaching camps for civil service aspirants have been opened at Tura and Ampati under the CMCGCS” he informed. He added that the government was dedicated to make policies based on the strengths of the state, which is natural and human resources.
Government Chief Whip and local MLA Winnerson D Sangma thanked the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs for choosing Babelapara to be one of the grassroots football centre. He stated that Mission Footbal was the foundation of football in the state and that the grassroots centres would enable the youth to take up football as a career option. “The government has started massive state of the art sports infrastructure development throughout the state, which will act as venues during the upcoming National Games” he stated. The local MLA also urged the parents of the region to motivate their children and encourage them to utilise the opportunity given by the government and enroll them at the grassroots centre.
Earlier, delivering the welcome address, Assistant Director of Sports & Youth Affairs Jasper P Marak said that Mission Football themed football is for everyone, aimed at identifying and developing talent.